We smoked some weed and turned on Netflix. We had it narrowed down to Bloodsport and the documentary about Roger Ebert. “Oh I heard this is really good,” I said about it. “Would you mind watching this?”
“Sure.” She was totally fine with it.
“It might be a little depressing. Let’s see. We can turn it off if it stinks.”
Roger Ebert’s weird hangy jaw. Not the most enticing thing to look at for two hours, romantically speaking. Didn’t necessarily stir anything up. Additionally, my own floppy jaw was spitting out dumb things that couldn’t have scored me any points.
“Wait. Who’s narrating this?” I asked. It sounded a lot like Roger Ebert. “They must’ve used his machine. Yeah. I heard they pieced together his speech from all his old movie reviews.”
“Oh really?.” Jordan said skeptically, while Ebert was on screen communicating with that default Stephen Hawking voice.
“Yeah. thought that happened. I thought I saw that on Oprah or something. Where he unveiled that he could use his voice again.” But the voice over was so smooth and natural. Not in the least bit robotic. It couldn’t have been coming from his machine. “I bet by the end of the movie we’ll see him talking with his actual voice through that machine.”
Jordan looked it up. “No. It says the voice over is done by Stephen Stanton, a professional voice actor and impressionist. Whoa!”
“What?! They got someone to impersonate him? Ugh. I don’t think I like that.” I said. “It’s weird. I think it’s offending me. This isn’t right.” It’s not really that upsetting. I think I just wanted to sound like I cared, like I was standing on sound moral ground. “Poor Ebert. He must’ve been so offended. Why didn’t they just ask Ebert to do it while he was around? It’s totally creepy. What’s the point even?”
“What’s the big deal?” Jordan asked. Clearly unimpressed.
“I don’t know. It’s gross.”
The movie came to an end without ever having proved me right about the piecemeal review-generated computer voice I was so sure about. They did however show a lot more of his floppy jaw. Shoving a feeding tube through his gaping maw. “I’m sorry.” I apologized. “This is probably the least sexy thing we could’ve watched.” We tried making out during the movie a couple times but it felt wrong. My boner (rather, thereof) wasn’t responding accordingly.
Later, we lay in my bed. “How’s Natasha, anyway? I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m asking.”
“You don’t? How did it pop into your head?”
“I don’t know. I guess I ‘m curious… about how your sex life was.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Are you sure? I don’t mind. I can answer.”
She took a moment before saying, “It’s okay.”